Don’t tell me the Universe doesn’t have a sense of humor. Today proves otherwise.
My son and I were driving to the city today to a gospel brunch. I was feeling the need for some hand-clappin’, soul-soothin’, old-ladies-in-hats kind of music. Something that unites, not divides, in a week where our president spewed more ugly talk. Something simple to take me out of my brain and into my foot-stompin’ body.
The Universe served all of the above to me on a platter, replete with gospel choir and four sweet but sassy little old ladies from Milwaukee who drove to our town for a quick 24 hours. “Thea” and friends hit the gospel cruise yesterday and were in line behind us for the gospel brunch today. As they asked my son to “photofy” them, I pondered what led us to them. He snapped away with their mobile phones, taking pictures, as I giggled to myself. Jesus led us to them. Literally. On the way to the city, the car that pulled in front of us on the highway had a vanity plate that read: “JESUS.” So yes, folks, Jesus led us to the gospel brunch today, as well as to Thea and her friends. How apropos.
I’ve been slow to write blogs lately. So much of what I want to say is personal. And locally, I have far too many voyeurs reading. I don’t mind the ones that read because they like what I write, the ones that read because they want a real conversation with me. But the ones who read and judge, who read and criticize, who read and gossip about it—those are the ones that always give me pause. I am sure I’m not interesting enough to be cocktail party conversation often but when I am, it drives me nuts. And so, this scenario gives me pause before I write about anything happening in my life.
But here we go—I needed a dose of little-old-ladies-who-love-Jesus this week because my eldest reminds me of the worst parts of my ex more and more. And my one prayer during my divorce—besides “Lord Jesus, help me keep the house” was “Good God, don’t let my sons be like their father–or his brothers–or their father.” There. I said it. And I mean it. Only my eldest sometimes detours that way, much to my dismay. If he was like his father as I met him in our 20s, OK. But to be like the man I divorced years later? Well, that is a hard pill to swallow. The man who buys himself a Harley Davidson but texts me multiple times, furious that I took his son to a doctor to diagnose a double ear infection because it’s “too expensive”—well, I don’t wish this man on anyone. The one who smiles in public and saves the ugly for behind closed doors. I raised my sons to be anything but that. I just have no control over what sticks.
I needed to hear “Oh Happy Day” sung by a man with a preacher voice, backed up by women who can belt out a chorus like nobody’s business, because working for myself is as wonderful as it is scary. Because the global corporations and executives I work with are in a constant state of flux. Because I know I’m a good writer but writing is subjective. One person’s rock star writer is another’s schmuck. When I look too far ahead, I catch my breath in sudden worry, wondering why I can’t make myself go back to corporate America. Even though I know why. A million times over I know why.
I thank God every day for the good. And there’s a lot of it. It’s just been a week in which my midlife crisis intersects with daily life. A week in which I can’t wait to travel to all of the places I put off traveling to—the destinations I turned down business trips for as I raised young children. And yet, a week in which I know I and I alone must find a way to pay for seeing the world. Must find peeps who enjoy more than backyard barbecues and comparing bank accounts. Those who aren’t voyeurs but adventurers in life.
As my son scarfed down his chicken and waffles, I dug into a jalapeno/corn muffin. I raised my glass to Thea and her friends, sitting just a table over. “Isn’t this great, Kristine?” she yelled. “We’re trying something different. We love your city!”
Just then, the choir sang, “Jesus will fight the battle for you.”
And I took it as another sign from the Universe. If JESUS can show up to lead me downtown on a random Sunday morning, I’m certain he can fight the battle for me this week—a week in which I’m a tad tired of the skirmish.
Oh Happy Day.